Innocent plea in pot case

A Craig man who allegedly tried to trade marijuana for a soft drink at a convenience store pleaded innocent in Moffat County District Court on Wednesday. The case will go to a jury trial Jan. 27.

Ryan Milner, 22, was arrested on a warrant obtained by police after a clerk at the north Kum & Go called them. The alleged incident took place at about midnight April 22.

Milner's attorney, Erick Nordstrom, indicated he would seek an encompassing plea bargain for Milner after a pending case against him is filed.

Because the convenience store is closer than 1,000 feet to Craig Middle School, the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office initially added a "sentence enhancer" to Milner's charges of distribution of marijuana, a Class 4 felony, and violation of bail bond conditions, a Class 6 felony.

If tried as a "special offender" for drug distribution near a school, Milner could face a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years in prison to a maximum of 25 years.

Nordstrom previously said he disagreed that the sentence enhancer is an appropriate interpretation of the law.

According to court documents, Milner entered the store to refill a soda. Milner allegedly handed the clerk a baggie of marijuana and about 20 cents in change.

The green, leafy substance weighed about three grams and yielded a positive result for marijuana when it was field tested, according to court documents.

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